Butternut Squash Orzo Risotto

A light take on classic butternut squash risotto, this dish is an easy dinner any night of the week. This recipe calls for thyme, but feel free to substitute a few sage leaves next time around.

Prep Time:  10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Yield: 4 Servings


  • 2 cups cubed butternut squash (1/2-3/4” pieces)
  • ½ tsp olive oil
  • ½ TB butter
  • 1 cup orzo pasta
  • 1 cup chicken broth (preferably fat-free, low sodium)
  •  1 ½ cups water
  • 8 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 TB fat free half & half
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese


Preheat oven to 425. Spray a small baking sheet with cooking spray. Toss squash with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and spread in a single layer on sheet. Roast for 20-25 minutes (stirring halfway through), until squash is tender and lightly browned.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add orzo and stir constantly until it begins to smell toasty (approximately 3 minutes). Add chicken broth, water, and thyme sprigs. Bring to a boil and lower to a simmer. Simmer, uncovered for approximately 15 minutes. Stir occasionally, until liquid is nearly absorbed. Remove thyme sprigs, stir in half and half, cheese, and roasted squash. Season well with salt and pepper, and serve.


Precut squash helps speed preparation of this dish. Just be sure to trim the pieces down to the small cube size before roasting.